Sunday, 14 August 2016

Flat Holm scoping mission !

After a full four days of sunshine, and not getting a single gull dropping on me I have returned from Flat Holm. I was quite busy with the main aim of the trip to look at water chemistry and geology. However I did lay the ground for you, if you wish to visit. The head warden, Mariane is very open to a bryophyte survey and I sung your praises.  To get to the island you need to speak to Cardiff Council by phone on this number 02920877912 or via this email:, there is plenty of accommodation and a PUB! There may be a small cost involved or maybe not, see what you can negotiate. Things were quite dry and most bryos were shrivelled up, I didn't collect anything, and I only looked at the cliff areas. After scoping out the entire cliff line, I only found one wet area, in the aptly named 'Dripping Cove' (ST 22317 64756) and after a bit of a scrabble I found the drip...and I mean the drip (See picture). Think it was Eucladium  or similar growing on the drip, and only covering an area of about 20cm2. There were also some liverworts living in the almost pitch dark in a small adit in the cliff face.  Im sure it will get more exciting in the winter. As usual apologies for poor photos, I must get a new camera. I hope this info helps you sort a trip out to the island in the future, its a great place to visit and the staff and volunteers are excellent. 

a gaggle of liverworts living in almost pitch black about 3m inside an old mine adit 
some very dry bryos on cliff edge on the western part of the island nr Bottles Well
The single drip of water in the 'Dripping Cove'


  1. Good stuff, and thanks for the information. I think that does look like Eucladium. Not sure about the liverwort, I'll leave that for one of the experts.


  2. Yes, well done Gareth. Locating the drip will save time and like George I'm none-the-wiser when it comes to putting a name to your cave liverwort.
    Thanks too for making us known to the islanders, now there's no excuse for us not to get out there this winter.

  3. Is the granular stuff algae? some lobes could be young Pellia, but could be a leafy job lurking in there as well.

  4. yes I think it is young Pellia (have small sample if anyone wants it ?). I managed to drop my camera on its lense so its well and truly dead, so whilst Im on that note any reccomendations for an affordable (which for me is less than £300) compact with good macro?